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J.M.

Chapter

The Use of Software for Electrical Fault Current Calculations

n all applications, the electrical fault current can be easily calculated by assuming a source with infinite fault capacity, ignoring cable impedance and considering only the impedance of the transformers. However such quick method will produce conservative values of fault current and will result in the

need to use circuit breakers with ratings that are well in excess of the actual electrical fault current. The use of software will provide a more accurate and realistic value of the actual fault current. This article will share my experience in the use of ETAP software from USA. Once the network is modelled, the software will calculate values for 3 phase fault, single phase to earth fault, double phase to earth fault, phase to phase fault, voltage magnitude at the faulted phase, and voltage magnitude at the healthy phase. The electrical fault current must be calculated at each and every level in the electrical installation. The maximum and minimum fault current must be calculated, and each will be used for different purpose. The maximum fault current is used to determine the breaking and making rating of the circuit breakers. The minimum fault current is used for protection relay co-ordination.

Symmetrical Components
The ETAP software uses the method of symmetrical components to determine the current and voltage in all parts of the system after the occurrence of the fault. There are many excellent material on the method of symmetrical components and how to derive the various equations for phase to phase fault, single phase to earth fault and double phase to earth fault. The reader is encouraged to review such material, and this article will be more on the application of the various equations [1]. of the three phase fault. Single Phase to Earth Fault
Red Yellow Blue

In the original form, these

equations are difficult to use and remember. It will be more useful to express these equations as a function

VR VY VB

IR IY IB

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Assuming a red phase to earth fault, we have the following conditions; IR = IR1 + IR2 + IRo (red phase to earth fault current)

IY = IB = 0 , VR = 0 where IR1 IR2 IR0 Red phase positive sequence impedance current Red phase negative sequence impedance current Red phase zero sequence impedance current

The analysis of the conditions will lead to the impedance diagram for the red phase;

where IR1 IR2 Z2 Z0 IR0 V - prefault phase to neutral voltage Z1 - positive sequence impedance Z2 - negative sequence impedance Z0 - zero sequence impedance

Z1

From the impedance diagram, we have the following IR1 = IR2 = IRo, V = IR1 Z1 + IR2 Z2 + IRo Zo 3V Z 1 + Z2 + Zo

Further analysis will yield the single phase to earth fault

In most applications, the positive sequence impedance is the same as the negative sequence impedance. The single phase to earth fault current will reduce to ( 3 2 + Zo/Z1 ) x three phase fault

The ratio of (Zo/Z1) will rarely be close to unity, and often much greater than unity. In most cases, the magnitude of the single phase to earth fault will be smaller than the three phase fault . This is because of the involvement of the cable impedance in the fault impedance. The zero sequence impedance of a cable will be much greater than the positive sequence impedance of the same cable. system (Zo/Z1) at the point of fault will be much greater than 1. fault to be always less than the three phase fault. Hence the ratio of the This will cause the single phase to each

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In a typical 400 volts installation with TNS earthing, the common practice is to install separate earth cable and lay next to the phase cable. Figure 8.1 shows the derivation of the zero sequence impedance of a cable with separate earth cable.
Io 3Io Zp

Io

Zp

Io

Zp 3Io Ze

Vo

Vo = IoZp + 3IoZe (Vo/Io) = Zo = Zp + 3Ze Where Zp is the impedance of the Red, Yellow and Blue phase conductor. Ze is the impedance of the separate earth cable. Zo is the zero sequence impedance of the cable with separate earth cab Vo is the single phase source.

FIGURE 8.1 : Derivation of Zero Sequence Impedance of Cable with

Separate Earth Cable

Phase to Phase Fault

Red Yellow Blue

VR VY VB

IR IY IB

Assuming a yellow phase to blue phase fault, we have the following conditions; IR = IR1 + IR2 + IRo IB = IY, VB = VY = 0

The analysis of the conditions will lead to the impedance diagram for the red phase;

IR1 V Z1 Z2

IR2

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From the impedance diagram, we have the following IR1 = V = IR2, IR1 Z1 + IR2 Z2

Further analysis will yield the phase to phase fault current 3 V = Z 1 + Z2

In most applications, the positive sequence impedance will be the same as the negative sequence impedance. The ratio of (Z2/Z1) will be close to unity. The equation is reduced to ; 3 Phase to phase fault current = x three phase fault 2 = 86% x three phase fault Double Phase to Earth Fault
Red Yellow Blue

VR VY VB

IR IY IB

Assuming a yellow phase and blue phase fault to earth; we have the following conditions; IR = IR1 + IR2 + IRo = 0 VB = 0

VY =

The analysis of the conditions will lead to the impedance diagram for the red phase;

IR1 V Z1 Z2

IR2 Z0

IR0

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From the impedance diagram, we have the following IR1 IR2 Z2 = IR2 + IR0,

= IR0 Z0

Further analysis will yield the double phase to earth fault current 3 V (Z1 Z2 Z1 Z0) = Z 1 Z0 + Z2 Z 0 + Z 1 Z 2

In most applications, the positive sequence impedance will be the same as the negative sequence impedance. The equation is reduced to ;

3 (Z1 Z0) Double phase to earth fault = x three phase fault Z1 + 2Z0

IEC 909
The IEC 909 is the dominant standard for calculation of fault current. The purchase of any software for fault current calculation must require the software to comply with the IEC 909. IEC 909 classify the fault current according to their magnitude (maximum or minimum) and fault distance from the source (far or near). The maximum fault current will determine the equipment ratings, while minimum fault current will determine the settings of protection devices. Far from source and near to source classification will determine whether to include the decay of the AC component of the fault current. In IEC 909, an equivalent voltage source at the fault location will replace all voltage sources. current calculations. A

voltage factor will adjust the value of the equivalent voltage source for the maximum and minimum fault All transformers, generators, motors and cables are represented by their respective positive, negative and zero sequence impedance. IEC 909 has many parameters which will describe the fault current at the sub-transient time, transient time and steady state time. A brief overview of the more important parameters will be essential. IK - Initial Symmetrical Short Circuit Current It is expressed in AC rms value and defined as the prospective or available short circuit current at the instance of short circuit. IK will be equal to the various fault current calculated using the method of symmetrical component as described in the previous section or using the per unit method or ohmic method or MVA method. IK is the basic building block for the calculation of the other fault current parameters of IEC 909.

IK = where :

V ZE

ZE - equivalent impedance at the fault location. V - prefault phase to neutral voltage

C

- voltage factor

Voltage Factor c Phase to phase voltage 35kV to 230kV 1kV to 35kV 100 volts to 1000 volts For maximum fault current calculation 1.10 1.10 1.10 For minimum fault current calculation 1.00 1.00 0.95

TABLE 8.1 : Taken from IEC 909

Ip - Peak Short Circuit Current It is expressed in AC peak value and defined as the maximum possible instantaneous value of the prospective or available short circuit current. IP = K 2 IK

where K is dependent on the X/R ratio.

X/R 0.5 1 2 5 10 50 100 200 K 1.02 1.07 1.24 1.56 1.75 1.94 1.97 1.99 Ip/IK 1.44 1.51 1.75 2.21 2.47 2.74 2.79 2.81

The value of Ip is very dependent on the X/R ratio. The larger the X/R ratio, the larger will be the value of Ip. The X/R ratio will be larger when the point of fault is closer to the source, as when near a power generating plant. The accurate calculation of Ip is therefore very dependent on accurate value of the

TABLE 8.2 : Derived from Equation in IEC 909

X/R ratio of the source. As a quick estimate, the X/R ratio of the source will approximate the X/R ratio of the upstream transformer. For example, if the source is modelled as a 22kV source from PG, the X/R ratio at 22kV will approximate the X/R ratio of the upstream 2 x 75MVA transformers. This is equivalent

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to a 1 x 150MVA transformer whose typical X/R value is 42. The calculated value of Ip will determine the making rating of the circuit breaker. Ib Symmetrical Short Circuit Breaking Current It is expressed in AC rms value and defined as the integral cycle of the symmetrical AC component of the available fault current at the instant of contact separation of the first pole of the circuit breaker. The value of Ib will depend on the minimum time delay of the circuit breaker. The minimum time delay is the sum of the shortest possible operating time of the instantaneous relay and the shortest opening time of the circuit breaker. A typical value for the minimum time delay will be 60 msec., which consist of 40 msec. opening time for the circuit breaker and 20 msec. operating time of the instantaneous relay. A larger value of minimum time delay will result in a smaller value of Ib. This is because of the decay of the DC and AC component of the fault current, which will lead to a smaller value of Ib. determine the breaking rating of the circuit breaker.
Value of Ib/kA tmin = 60 msec tmin = 70 msec tmin = 80 msec tmin = 90 ms 3 Phase fault at 22kV of Figure 8.5 3 Phase fault at 6.6kV of Figure 8.5 3 Phase fault at 400 volts at Figure 8.5 11.83 8.10 23.66 11.82 8.07 23.57 11.80 8.04 23.49 11.79 8.01 23.41

The calculated value of Ib will

TABLE 8.3 : Variation of Ib for Various Miniumum Time Delay of the Circuit Breaker

Idc DC Component of the Fault Current The DC component of the fault current is calculated based on a factor of IK. Idc = 2 exp where :

-2fRt X

IK

f - system frequency t - time duration

Figure 8.2 is the graphic illustration of Idc. The DC component will eventually decay to zero. The calculated value of Idc shall be less than the % DC component of the test voltage specified in IEC 56 for the breaking test of circuit breakers. IK Steady State Fault Current This is the value of fault current when all transient components, both AC and DC, have decayed to zero. The value of IK will largely depend on the parameters of the generator, where the rated current and excitation voltage are the more important parameters.

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IK

IG

where IG - rated current of generator - function of excitation voltage of the generator and other parameters of the generator. A fault near a generator is an example of a near to source fault. In such a situation, the dominant impedance will be from the generator, whose value will increase with time. The impedance of generator is broadly classified into three time frames: subtransient period of less than 20ms transient period of up to 500 ms steady state period of more than 500 ms

The successive effect of the three impedance will lead to a gradual reduction in the fault current. The value of Ik will largely be inductive in nature and of low power factor. Therefore it will be the field circuit of the generators that will determine the magnitude of Ik. The MW rating of a field circuit is typically a small percentage of the MW rating of the generator and it will be possible for the value of Ik to be less than the full load current of the generator.
idc (p.u)
1.00

0.80

0.60

0.40

X/R = 50
0.20

X/R = 25 X/R = 10

time (msec)

FIGURE 8.2 : DC Component of Fault Current

Sequence 1 2 3 4 5

Symmetrical current 10% 20% 30% 40% 50%

DC Component Less than 20% Less than 20% Less than 20% Less than 20% Less than 30%

Comparison of Circuit Breaker Rating and IEC 909

Using the criteria defined in IEC 909, the ETAP software will automatically decide whether a fault location is near to source or far from source. The implication will be in the values of IK, Ib and IK. In a far from source fault, we have IK In a near to source fault, we have IK > Ib > I K = Ib = I K

An alternative interpretation of a near to source fault current and far from source fault current is to examine the AC and DC component of the fault current: near to source fault current = AC component + DC component (will vary) far from source fault current = (decay to zero)

AC component + DC component (will not vary) (decay to zero)

Figure 8.3 and 8.4 are the graphic illustration of both fault current. At both fault locations, the calculated value of Ib will determine the breaking rating of the circuit breaker. Typical values are 12.5, 15, 20, 25, 31.5, 40, 50 and 63KA.

Current

Time

Current

Time

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10

The other important parameter of IEC 909 is Ip. The calculated value of Ip will determine the making rating of the circuit breaker. Typical values are 31.5, 40, 63, 80 and 100kA. In summary, we have Device rating Breaking Making
20MW 11kV Z=12% Source Fault = 40kA, 66kV X/R = 42

Unit RMS value Peak value

Calculation Example
Figure 8.5 is the single line of an electrical
2000A 22KV

75MVA 66/22kV Z=17%

2000A

installation

with

embedded

generation, 66kV connection to the utility and loads at 6.6kV and 400 volts. The utility has
2MVA 22kV/0.4kV Z=6% 10MVA 22kV/6.6kV Z=10%
300A

a three phase fault level of 40kA at 66kV and X/R ratio of 42.
6.6kV

0.4kV

phase to earth fault to 2000A.

M
200kW Induction Motor

M
1MW Induction Motor

contribution from the 6.6kV induction motor and 400 volts induction motor was taken into consideration. The embedded generator is a The results from the Etap Software are

gas turbine generator with a sub-transient reactance of 12%.

summarized in the table 8.5, 8.6 and 8.7 for the various fault locations and various fault current. During a fault, the induction motors contribution to the fault current is only to IK. However the absence of a sustained field excitation system will mean that these values of IK contribution from the induction motors cannot be sustained and will decay to zero after 2 cycles. compared to IK . This will translate to a lower value of Ib as

Fault Current in KA

Ik"
3 Phase Fault Single phase to Earth Fault Line to Line Fault Double phase to earth fault 12.09 3.72 10.47 11.42

IP
32.60 10.04 28.24 30.81

Ib
11.83 3.72 10.47 11.42

IK
9.71 3.72 10.47 11.42

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Fault Current in KA

Ik"
3 Phase Fault Single phase to Earth Fault Line to Line Fault Double phase to earth fault 8.46 0.33 7.33 7.41

IP
21.86 0.85 18.93 19.14

Ib
8.10 0.33 7.33 7.41

IK
6.38 0.33 7.33 7.41

TABLE 8.6 : Fault at 6.6kV of Figure 8.5

Fault Current in KA

Ik"
3 Phase Fault Single phase to Earth Fault Line to Line Fault Double phase to earth fault 25.02 23.79 21.67 24.92

IP
55.05 52.36 47.68 54.84

Ib
23.66 23.79 21.67 24.92

IK
18.05 23.79 21.67 24.92

TABLE 8.7 : Fault at 0.4kV of Figure 8.5

Conclusion
The use of software for fault current calculation is a necessary productivity tool. The fault current for all possible configuration of the network can be instantaneously calculated by the software. Any attempt to manually calculate by hand will be time consuming and may be prone to error. -- END --